Western Australia's museums and galleries are as varied as its heritage, colourful as its culture and numerous as its pool of local talent.
The Perth Cultural Centre in Northbridge is the place for art lovers to spend glorious hours of browsing.
The Art Gallery of Western Australia has more than a thousand pieces, both Australian and international. It is well known for its superb collection of Indigenous artwork. The Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts has space for contemporary collections and performing arts whilst the Photography Gallery of Western Australia exhibits a wide range of photography. All buildings are conveniently located together.
In the same precinct, the Western Australian Museum takes you back three and a half billion years to the origin of our ancient land. Explore Australian Aboriginal culture, the effects of European settlement and a diversity of wildlife.
An integral thread woven throughout Western Australia's heritage is its relationship with the ocean. You can hear, see and 'breathe' maritime adventure at the Western Australian Maritime Museum and Shipwreck Galleries in Fremantle.
For an intriguing heritage tour, visit Fremantle Prison, where guides tell of impossible escapes and evening tours revisit ghosts of the past.
For an interesting look into Western Australia's aviation history, pay a visit to the Royal Australian Air Force Association Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia. The museum is considered the best of its kind in Australia, if not the world.
Pioneer history will lead you up into the hills and beyond. The No 1 Pump Station at Mundaring celebrates an amazing engineering achievement, when water was first piped nearly 600 kilometres from Perth to the parched goldfields.
York, Western Australia's first inland European settlement, has retained its historic feel with heritage buildings and art and craft galleries. Jah Roc Mill Gallery, for example, is famous for furniture handcrafted from salvaged wood and surrounded by studios and craft workshops. Visit York's treasure-house of history, The Residency Museum and glimpse into the lives of the people who created York.
Australia's South West
Start at the beginning and discover Australian Aboriginal culture. The Kodja Place, in the south west town of Kojonup, showcases indigenous life 'in the bush', while Aboriginal art galleries - representing both traditional Dreaming stories and interpretations of contemporary issues - are spread throughout the State.
There are many local artists and craftspeople in the Margaret River area, which is also where you'll find the iconic Busselton Jetty Interpretive Centre, another must-see for maritime discovery and a glimpse of the jetty's long heritage. In Albany you can take a journey through the site of Australia's last operating whaling station at Whale World.
Australia's Golden Outback
Try your hand at panning for gold and explore an old mine shaft at the award-winning Australian Prospectors Mining Hall of Fame in Kalgoorlie, the heart of gold country.
On the vast salt lake of Lake Ballard you can walk into one of the largest outdoor galleries on Earth. World-famous sculptor Antony Gormley has created his vision of an Australian community, modelling 51 statues on real locals from nearby Menzies and exhibiting them across an area of 10 square kilometres for all to see.
Australia's North West
The Kimberley region of Western Australia is one of the world’s last true wilderness areas and a place of dramatic and rugged beauty.
It is also where you will find Australia's oldest Aboriginal rock art. Known as Gyorn Gyorn, or the Bradshaw Paintings, they’re believed to be up to 50,000 years old – which is at least five times older than the Egyptian pyramids.
According to Indigenous legend, the paintings – revealed to the rest of the world by explorer Joseph Bradshaw in 1891 - were created by birds using their tail feathers. The paintings show extraordinary sophistication and are widely considered to rank in significance with Nefertari's tomb in Egypt.
Close to the town of Derby, the new Mowanjum Art Centre - Spirit of the Wandjina - has been designed to create a genuine meeting point between local people and visitors to the area, and is remarkable both inside and out.
Housing stunning works from the local area, the building is particularly impressive when viewed from the air - in the shape of a striking face, with head-dress and enormous eyes set against the rich red earth and green scrub.
In the coastal town of Broome discover some of Western Australia’s most well known Indigenous artists such as Denise Walker - a local artist and educator whose artwork magically captures the light, colour and space of Broome and the Kimberley region.
Further east in the outback town of Kununurra you'll find several Indigenous art galleries including Red Rock Art, home to contemporary Aboriginal art of the East Kimberley. A range of paintings, metal sculptures and basketwork are showcased in this stylish gallery.
Its artists-in-residence program means visitors can watch Indigenous works in progress, including those by leading artist Nancy Noonju. A unique aspect of the gallery is that the ochres used are collected and ground by hand, with methods and sources handed down through the generations.
Perth Cultural Experience1 Day
Perth has a unique blend of arts and cultural activities to entertain even the most discerning traveller.
Fremantle Cottesloe Art Scene1 Day
Cosmopolitan Fremantle's historic buildings and lanes have created an enclave for artists and their enterprises. Cottesloe also houses respected Australian artists and is the perfect spot for a sunset drink.
Fremantle Day Tour1 Day
Discover the character and charm of the lively port city of Fremantle, where history and culture combine. View More
Arts Experience3 Days
Art is an important part of life in the South West region, and it's expressed in dozens of forms. View More